I shot this photo in the Rogue Brewery restaurant last week. I was there leading a group of wonderful people on a five-day photo workshop along the Oregon Coast. When I saw this dad with his sleeping son from across the room my heart melted a little bit. I have a son (Cooper) who's a little younger than the boy in the shot and when Cooper falls asleep in my arms like that I feel incredibly happy. Happy that he's asleep and not throwing a fit or complaining about his dinner. I love my son, but when he falls hard asleep like only little kids can, he melts into my lap and I finally feel like I am just what he needs.
As for this dad, I have no idea what he's thinking, but I can assume that he is going to sit there for as long as he can. He will savor the silence. He will relish the calm moment he is having. He will sip his beer and watch the boats in the harbor and commit every second of this moment to his memory, for it is fleeting. Eventually that kid will outgrow the lap, the trusting sleep, and the cuddling with dad. But for this evening in this noisy pub, this is honest tenderness and I love it. I wanted to buy the guy another beer and hush everyone in the room with the hope that this moment would last forever.